THE ZIMBABWE Electoral Commission (ZEC) yesterday began a seven-day pilot voter registration exercise for the June 10 by-elections, amid indications that Tsholotsho North will have much more polling stations than was the case in the 2013 elections.
BY NQOBILE BHEBHE
In Bulawayo, five parliamentary seats are up for grabs and only 39 centres have been created for the exercise down from 103 polling centres used in the 2013 harmonised polls.
During the 2013 elections, Tsholotsho North constituency had 59 polling centres, but ZEC has this time increased the centres to 72, a development which has raised eyebrows among analysts monitoring preparations for the by-election.
Information minister and Zanu PF candidate Jonathan Moyo will battle it out with two independent candidates, Busani Ncube and Getrude Sibanda. Moyo has already declared the two would be no match for him.
The seat fell vacant following the recent expulsion of Roselyn Nkomo from Parliament after she crossed the floor from MDC-T to the MDC-Renewal Team.
Before the 2013 elections, Moyo was the MP for the area.
ZEC chief elections officer Utoile-Silaigwana in a public notice published yesterday said the commission would use the voter’s rolls that were used during the 2013 harmonised elections as the basis for the exercise.
Silaigwana could not be reached for comment over the sharp increase in polling centres for Tsholotsho North. The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) was also mum over the issue.
Part of ZEC’s notice read: “It is hereby notified for general information that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission shall be conducting the pilot voter registration exercise in Harare East, Kambuzuma, Glen View South, Dzivarasekwa, Highfield West, Kuwadzana, Pumula, Makokoba, Luveve, Tsholotsho North, Lobengula, Mpopoma-Pelandaba, Mbizo and Chikanga-Dangamvura constituencies between April 22, 2015 and April 28, 2015.”
“Please note that the Commission shall use the voters’ rolls that were used during the 2013 harmonised elections as the basis for the exercise.
Those people whose names already appear on that roll will not be re-registered.”
The voters’ roll would also be open for inspection during the same period.
The pilot voter registration exercise coincided with national identity and death registration in those constituencies.